The global chlorine market size exceeded 70 million tons in 2015. The global industry has experienced a rapid growth in the last few years due to growing demand for chlorine derivatives from various end-use industries such as water, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, plastic, food processing, adhesives, paints & coatings, etc.
It is used as a raw material for manufacturing an extensive range of chemicals which is further projected to boost the market demand. It is an important raw material used in the production of polyvinyl chloride. Rising demand for PVC in construction, automotive, composite manufacturing applications is anticipated to propel the demand growth.
U.S. chlorine market revenue by application, 2014 - 2024 (USD Million)
High risk associated with handling and transportation of chlorine, as it is highly reactive & toxicological substance and also enhances combustion rate of other materials is likely to limit the growth. Escalating ecological issues coupled with stringent regulations from various regulatory bodies such as IARC, WHO, EPA FDA, etc. is expected to affect the industry over the forecast period.
The chlorine production is considered to be the highly energy intensive process and thus adds to the product cost. The high number of chlorine manufacturing plants set up globally, especially in China on account of huge demand in the recent past has increased the global production capacity and has resulted in overproduction. This has brought down the product prices tremendously.
Key players in the market will be foreseen to stress upon implementing sustainability programs focusing on training for safe and economical production of chlorine. Industries, especially in the European markets, are likely to face uncertain business conditions owing to strict environmental regulations.
The market is expected to witness a gradual shift from mercury cell technology towards membrane technology on account of stringent regulations about mercury emission. Industry experts expect the mercury cell technology to phase completely out from the market by 2020.
EDC/PVC application segment is anticipated to emerge as the largest application segment. It is projected to account for over 30% of the total volume and is also expected to be the fastest growing segment over the forecast period. Rising demand for PVC from various industries such as an automobile, construction, packaging, etc. will fuel the demand growth.
Also, growing scope for chlorine application as a solvent, in the pharma industry, is projected to spur the product demand over the next eight years. In addition, its increasing demand from various applications, such as isocyanates, paper & pulp, and organic chemicals, is projected to boost the global chlorine market growth.
Asia Pacific chlorine market led the global industry and accounted for over 50% of total volume in 2015 and is expected to emerge as the fastest growing region over the forecast period. High growth can be attributed to rising demand for PVC, especially in construction, automotive and packaging industries.
Huge demand from various end-use industries located in China, India, Vietnam, etc. has spurred the regional growth. China accounts for most of the chlorine demand in the region and is also the largest manufacturer in the world.
Asia Pacific is anticipated to witness price fluctuations owing to an imbalance in supply and demand of chlorine and caustic soda. Caustic soda is a byproduct of chlorine production and has a considerable impact on the chlorine market. The spot prices for these products are key indicators of this fluctuation.
North America is expected to witness substantial growth as key manufacturing sectors have regained their momentum after the significant slowdown in recent past. Key manufacturers in the region are experiencing a shift from mercury-based production to membrane-based technology.
Europe has observed a considerable drop in the global market share in the recent past on account of the sluggish growth of the key end-use industries after the economic downfall. The region is expected to grow at below average growth rates over the forecast period. MEA and CSA regions are also expected to witness sluggish growth rates owing to the absence of end-use industries in the region.
Environmental regulations are supposed to limit the growth over the forecast period. Due to the regulations, the industry is anticipated to witness a technological shift from mercury cell technology to membrane based production. Mercury cell technology requires a significant amount of electricity and emits some amount of mercury in the environment during the process. This demands high regulatory compliances to prevent adverse effects on the environment.
The global chlorine industry is fragmented due to the presence of some market players. The market is expected to witness significant players establishing their manufacturing facilities in emerging regions owing to favorable regulations and lower labor cost. The pricing policies in emerging regions are likely to be affected by variations in its supply and demand.
Some of the primary key participants operating in the global chlorine market include Hanwha Chemical Corporation, Ineos Group Ltd., The Dow Chemical Company, Tosoh Corporation, PPG Industries, Tata Chemicals Ltd., BASF SE, FMC Corporation, Olin Corporation, Formosa Plastics Corporation, Occidental Petroleum Corporation, Xinjiang Zhongtai Chemicals Co. Ltd., and Nirma Ltd. Capacity expansions and strategic alliances amongst key companies are projected to offer new opportunities for the industry participants over the forecast period.
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